In December 2017 the government identified its plan for raising the quality of Careers provision in England through the release of the new Careers Strategy.
One of the key elements of the new strategy is that every school should use the Gatsby Benchmarks as a tool to measure the effectiveness of, and develop and improve their Careers provision. The Gatsby Benchmarks are a set of eight world-class standards developed as a result of world-wide studies in to Careers provision. Each benchmark is made up of a number of assessment areas and, in meeting all eight of the benchmarks of best practice, schools can be confident they are -
- Providing a stable careers programme
- Providing opportunities for students to learn from career and labour market information
- Providing for the needs of every student
- Linking curriculum learning to Careers
- Providing suitable encounters with employers and employees
- Providing meaningful experiences of workplaces
- Planning for encounters with further and higher education
- Offering effective personal guidance for every student
For more information on the 2017 Government Careers Strategy see the below;
For more information on the Gatsby Benchmarks please see below –
Of particular importance for teaching staff is Gatsby Benchmark 4 – Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers.
In order to meet Gatsby Benchmark 4 it is essential that;
ALL teachers are regularly linking curriculum learning to careers
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subject teachers regularly highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future paths
ALL students, by the age of 14, have had the opportunity to learn how the different STEM subjects help people to gain entry into a wide range of careers
ALL subject teachers emphasise the importance of succeeding in English and Maths
What does this mean in practice?
It is about making subjects more relatable and relevant to everyday working life. Real-life contexts make subjects easier to understand and help students feel more engaged in their learning. Above all, linking curriculum learning to careers can boost achievement and help students to progress. Students are less likely to disengage if they know about how the subject can lead to future opportunities.
Schemes of work should include how career relevant learning will be embedded in subject teaching, this could be dedicated careers units or discussions at the start or end of courses.
Information in options booklets explain the skills that will be developed and how they can be applied in future study and employment.
Each department identifies a member of staff to link with the Careers Leader and Careers Coordinator to promote opportunities for students and staff.
School maintains a record of employer contacts, including any parents and ex students who have ‘helped out’.
Career learning is not just about stand-alone Careers lessons but pulls together everything learned through curriculum subjects, encounters with employers and experiences of the workplace, so that students can make the most of them.
Why does this matter?
Subject teachers are highly influential. Students are 18 time more likely to be motivated to learn if their teacher knows their hopes and dreams. They are also more engaged in their learning if they see the relevance of what they are studying. Students are given the opportunity to develop their career thinking and develop employability skills.
What can I do?
Use any previous knowledge of the world of work
Spot any opportunities to develop careers related learning in subject specifications
Problem based challenges are good to demonstrate how these can be related to working life.
Book on exhibitions such as the All About STEM Big Bang Event
Get in touch with any societies/professional bodies that you are involved with to find out what resources they have developed to support careers in the curriculum.
Share any contacts that you have with the careers staff to increase the numbers of employers engaged with the school.
Make use of careers websites during tutorials to help students build their own careers profile and see how subjects can be used in different careers.
Start Profile - this careers website helps students to create their own careers profile and helps them to understand how subjects link to different careers. Use in tutorials from Year 9 upwards to support students to create careers profiles and use in lessons to explore careers areas and employers.
BBC Careers - Lots of useful information and video clips including information on the variety of jobs linked to subjects.
National Careers Service Website - The job profiles are an excellent source of information and have good labour market information.
Go Construct - Demonstrates the wide range of jobs coming under the heading of construction.
Hospitality Guild - Helping to develop careers in hospitality
Tasty Careers - Information about careers in the food and drink industry
I Could - This is a website full of videos of people being interviewed about their job and can be used at the start of a lesson to emphasise a career area of work linked to a subject. It also includes information on labour market information.
The NHS - Demonstrates that the NHS is more than doctors and nurses
Tomorrows Engineers - Great website that covers a wide range of jobs and has quizzes and PowerPoint presentations.
All About Stem - Useful resources and information on exhibitions and other events related to STEM, includes section for teachers and ambassadors.
Why STEM - www.wherestemcantakeyou.co.uk - Includes a video clip (animated rap) produced by Rolls-Royce on the different jobs in STEM
Online resources for apprenticeships- www.amazingapprenticeships.com/learn-at-home